Over the years I’ve noticed that there are 2 simple and basic requirements to a successful relationship. The first requirement is to pick well, the second is to nurture your relationship well from there. If you have picked well, the other person will most likely nurture you well in return. Implied in this rule of thumb is that when you do not pick well—when you pick a person with notable character flaws, problems, or issues, your efforts to keep the relationship healthy, happy, and committed will only go so far. Eventually the other person will need to give and make efforts towards the relationship as well. So, if/when they do not, your best efforts will only keep the relationship going for so long before it will fall apart.
So, picking well—your choice of who to date and marry—is a simple requirement. However, I never said it is an easy requirement. In fact, many if not most people find that picking a good quality, high character person that will treat them well and stay committed to them can be quite a challenge. Especially since most people try to put their best foot forward while dating. How can you differentiate a truly good pick from a person only masquerading as a good pick? Easier said than done. This little article will give you a few ideas, recommendations, and suggestions. After that it is up to you. Good luck!
Suggestions for Picking Well:
*Get the power of discernment: this simply means having the Spirit with you AND asking key, specific questions in prayer about this person for clarification and direction. First of all, to have the Spirit with you, you must be worthy in all main ways to have it. Clear up whatever you need to clear up with the bishop. Ask for forgiveness for all of the sins that you can think of that need to be repented of, big and little. Pray to have the Spirit. And then make good choices from there (meaning, “forsake your sins”).
Once you have the Spirit, pray often and specifically about your dating prospects and relationships. Ask questions, go quiet and patiently listen, and become familiar with the feelings of the Spirit that will give you direction and clarity from there. Two scriptures give good clarity to help you get the power of discernment with your dating and relationship choices. This scripture on the “fruits of the Spirit” clarifies the types of feelings people have when they possess the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…”. –Galatians 5:22-23.
Also, sometimes feeling the Spirit can be described as a burning in the bosom (see Luke 24:32). When Martin Harris wanted to translate the Book of Mormon, a revelation was given to him instructing him to ask first, and then pay special attention to the answer, whether or not he felt the Spirit. It says: “But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought (confusion; emptiness) that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong…” –Doctrine & Covenants 9:8-9.
For more information of getting the Spirit and getting spiritual discernment when making dating and relationship decisions, you may wish to read or listen to the following books:
Drawing on the Powers of Heaven by Grant Von Harrison
Receiving Answers to our Prayers by Gene R. Cook.
*Learning About Healthy Relationships: To pick well, it is also very important to be clear and familiar with what makes for a healthy relationship, and then work to pick a person who possesses as much of these traits as possible. If you don’t understand and recognize healthy relationships, it is very difficult to successfully find and pick it for your life. Here are some useful resources to learn about healthy relationships:
Why Marriages Succeed or Fail by John Gottman
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman
*Flush Out the Truth: As you possess the Spirit, pray for answers and understand healthy relationships, the final step to “picking well” is to flush out the truth. Observe and test the other (respectfully and discretely) to learn about what they are all about. One way that you can do this is to jointly take the “Relate” questionnaire. This is a relationship questionnaire for couples in a relationship that you take separately, but the answers and results are jointly given with insights for the two of you as a couple. This questionnaire will review your relationship strengths, as well as your specific areas of concern. You can find this questionnaire at: www.relateinstitute.com and choose the “couples” option.
You can also flush out the truth by noticing how the other handles stress, frustration, communication issues, and conflict. Notice the way others describe them as well. Look for common truths about the other person. With all of this information, you will build a perception and conception of them that will either support you picking them for a committed or even a married relationship, or not. For more ideas on figuring out what a person is all about, check out this additional article as well: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/is-he-or-she-the-right-one-83/.
Final Thoughts: The pick of the person you choose to date and marry is extremely important. Few choices will have as much impact on your life here and the world to come, for better or worse. Follow the ideas in this article to pick well. Then, work as hard as you can to nourish and the nurture the relationship from there. Remember—when you have picked well, they will basically give well to you in return. When two people are both giving and of high character, the best results will follow for a happy, healthy relationship and marriage. This is the way it was meant to be. For “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|2020-08-23||Randy Gilchrist||Dating, Healthy relationships|
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).